Poster Abstracts

Abstract

The acute phase of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has uniquely been associated with changes in sense of smell. While the long-term neuropsychological sequelae are not fully understood, many patients endorse residual memory challenges. Prior research suggests a link between olfactory changes and neurodegenerative conditions involving memory decline, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The purpose of the present evaluation was to explore the relationship between changes in smell during acute COVID-19 infection and the onset of memory problems following recovery. Subjective reports of 316 adults ages 19 to 96, treated for COVID-19 within the Staten Island University Hospital network, were examined. A chi-square test of independence revealed a significant relationship between changes in smell during illness and memory difficulties post-infection, X 2 (1, N = 316) = 18.14, p < .001. Specifically, 61% of people with changes in smell reported new memory challenges, compared to 39% of people whose smell was not affected. The association between age and subjective report of memory problems was also investigated and found to be nonsignificant. Overall, results suggest that individuals who experience changes in sense of smell during COVID-19 illness may be more likely than those without olfactory changes to develop memory difficulties post-infection.

First AuthorYocheved Keren
Second AuthorRosemarie Kurtz
Third AuthorKatherine E Russell
Fourth AuthorCarina JohnKlein
Fifth AuthorRosemarie A. Basile